Bangladesh’s most successful captain in ODI cricket Mashrafe bin Mortaza is looking forward to his old teammate Tamim Iqbal, also the country’s most accomplished batsman across all formats of the game, finally take the reins of leadership for the Tigers in ODIs.
Accordingly the senior Mashrafe, now serving as a parliamentarian from his home district Narail, shared some tips on the art of captaincy for his old comrade, when he appeared in a Facebook Live “adda” on Monday night hosted by Tamim.
Above all, Mash advised Tamim to listen to his heart while making a decision.
"You will hear a lot of advice from others as captain - 'do this, do that'- but as long as you listen to your heart, you will be able to sleep at night even if you lose," Mashrafe said during the conversation with Tamim.
“You will be unhappy if you had to do what other people told you. I have always believed in this. I won't tell you how to do your captaincy, but you should do what your heart desires. You will have senior cricketers like Shakib, Mushfiq and Riyad around you, but if you listen to your gut feeling, you will be more successful," he elaborated.
Mashrafe, who is effectively retired from the game but hasn’t made any official decision, further said that the Bangladesh team has some 'match-winners' and urged Tamim to back the players.
"Bangladesh's reality is a little different. You have to be patient. If you can make the players understand that you will do everything you can for them, then they will give the best for you," Mashrafe further said.
"I am confident in your ability, it doesn't matter what others are saying. You have match-winners like Soumya, Liton and Mustafiz, so if something is being said about them, you have to handle it carefully," he added.
Mashrafe, who resigned from the ODI captaincy last February, asked Tamim to back the younger players like Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das and Mustafizur Rahman to move forward.
Tamim is a senior player in the Bangladesh side for long, but he has been a bit of a reluctant leader, taking charge only in one Test and three ODIs over the years. But, Mashrafe suggested that Tamim's leadership role off the field would be useful for him in his new position.
"I never really supported your reluctance about the captaincy. Why wouldn't you be the captain? You already have leadership qualities," Mashrafe said. "Whether the BCB will give you the captaincy for a long time, that's up to them. You have to accept it properly.
"You didn't accept the captaincy properly on the Sri Lanka tour last July. But seeing you now, I feel you are on the right track, and Bangladesh cricket will move up to the next step very soon."